Up until now, performance PC users have had little reason to upgrade to Windows 8. After all, Windows 7 is a fantastic operating system for both gamers and average PC users alike, and why fix what isn’t broken?
Well, it looks like Microsoft wants to make Windows 8 a little more appealing to performance PC users like gamers. DirectX 11.1 – the next version of the popular suite of multimedia applications – will be exclusive to Windows 8.
Microsoft has no plans to bring DirectX 11.1 to past operating systems in the future. So if you’re sitting on your Windows 7 computer thinking that a DirectX 11.1 release is inevitable, it’s not.
In a forum thread on the topic, a Microsoft rep said the following:
“DirectX 11.1 is part of Windows 8, just like DirectX 11 was part of Windows 7.”
However, there is some good news here: DirectX 11.1 won’t be a drastic change like DirectX 11 was compared to DirectX 10. A full list of the changes can be found at the official Microsoft Dev Center site. The biggest change will be the addition of native 3D support in Windows 8. In order to get 3D support in Windows 7 and previous versions, you have to install third-party software. Which isn’t really a big deal.
In any case, don’t expect there to be a noticeable difference when comparing DirectX 11.1 and DirectX 11 side-by-side. There probably won’t be one. So you can hold off adopting Windows 8 for another little while.